If you’re on a mission to recreate your favorite hotel-sleep experience, you’ll need the perfect pillow. To help you find the right one, I’m presenting my four favorite hotel pillows here in this guide. Plus, I’ll impart my personal tips and tricks behind pillow shopping so you’ve got all the information you need to make the best buying decision.
Best Hotel Pillows of 2021
- Editor’s Pick – Ella Jayne Gusseted Hotel Pillows
- Best for Back Sleepers – D & G The Duck and Goose Co Down Alternative Pillow
- Best for Stomach Sleepers – COZSINOOR Cozy Dream Series Hotel Pillow
- Most Affordable – Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow
Ella Jayne Gusseted Hotel Pillows
A Plush Pillow for All Sleeping Positions
Covered in microfiber and filled with a down alternative, this pillow is great for all sleeping positions. It also features a gusseted construction that helps it maintain its loft throughout the night.
- A balanced feel and medium loft make this pillow great for sleepers of all styles.
- Its 2-inch gusset helps it maintain its loft and shape as you roll around in bed.
- Its internal fill is crafted to mimic the feel of real down without using animal feathers of any kind.
- Sleepers searching for an extra-firm feel should look elsewhere.
- While it’s a good value for its quality, this pillow might be out of the budget for some shoppers.
The Ella Jayne Gusseted Hotel Pillows has a balanced feel and nice down-alternative fill.
Best for Back Sleepers
D & G The Duck and Goose Co Down Alternative Pillow
A Soft, Feathery Pillow for Back Sleepers
This fluffy pillow is covered in cotton and filled with down alternative. Its medium level of loft and firmness is great for back sleepers, and its gel infusion helps regulate body temperature.
- Its medium level of loft and firmness can alleviate neck pain when you sleep on your back.
- This pillow features a gel infusion and cotton cover fabric, both of which serve to regulate temperature and prevent sleepers from warming up.
- This pillow can be washed and dried right at home, which makes maintenance nice and easy.
- Side sleepers with broad shoulders will probably find that this pillow is not quite firm and lofty enough.
- If you prefer a moldable feel, you’ll likely be more compatible with memory foam.
The D & G The Duck and Goose Co Down Alternative Pillow is has a medium loft and features a gel infusion to sleep cool.
Best for Stomach Sleepers
COZSINOOR Cozy Dream Series Hotel Pillow
Perfect for Stomach Sleepers with Neck Pain
This down alternative pillow has a low loft that’s perfect for stomach sleepers with neck pain. Plus, it’s covered in a striped, embossed cotton fabric that feels soothing on the skin.
- This pillow is soft and low-lofted enough to alleviate neck pain when you sleep on your stomach.
- Its cotton cover fabric promotes airflow through the pillow for a cool, breathable feel.
- It’s very reasonably priced for its high quality materials.
- Back and side sleepers won’t be compatible with this pillow’s low loft and extra soft feel.
- This pillow may require frequent fluffing in order to keep it from going flat.
The COZSINOOR Cozy Dream Series Hotel Pillow is low-lofted and soft, which is great for stomach sleepers.
Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow
A Budget-Friendly, Hotel-Quality Pillow
Sleepers on a budget are sure to enjoy this soft, fluffy, hotel-quality pillow. It’s covered in 100% cotton, filled with a gel infused down alternative, and very reasonably priced for its category.
- This pillow is competitively priced for its high quality, and makes a great choice for sleepers on a budget.
- Its lightweight cotton cover and gel infused fill help this pillow to stay nice and cool while you snooze.
- This pillow can easily be washed and dried by machine — no dry-cleaning necessary!
- To prevent this pillow from going flat or losing its shape, you may need to fluff it several times per week.
- Those looking for a firm, lofty pillow should search elsewhere as this one is soft and compressible.
The Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow is affordable and gel infused to sleep cool.
How We Picked
Okay, sleepers, now that you’ve seen my top four picks, let’s talk about the methodology behind my choices. While a lot comes down to personal preference, there are some key factors to consider when you’re shopping for the perfect hotel pillow.
When you’re trying to find the pillow that’s best for you, the first thing to consider is your go-to sleeping position. Obviously, sleep is something we all do differently, and each position requires a different level of loft and firmness in order to promote healthy posture. So, let’s take a look at what each sleeping position requires below:
- Side Sleeping – Side sleepers should search for a pillow that has a firmer feel and lofty profile. A pillow with a loft (height) of 4” or higher will hold the head in neutral alignment with the spine, while relieving pressure at the shoulder and hips as well. Plus, a firmer level of support will prevent the head from sinking down throughout the night.
- Back Sleeping – Back sleepers are generally most compatible with a medium level of loft and firmness, but have some room to experiment with that feels best. Just remember that neutral spine alignment is your pillow’s most important job! So, if you feel your head being craned upwards, there’s a good chance you need a slightly softer and lower-lofted pillow.
- Stomach Sleeping – Stomach sleepers need a soft, low-lofted pillow in order to maintain neutral spine alignment and prevent the neck from being strained. Ideally, a stomach sleeper pillow will be soft enough to compress into a loft of 2-inches deep or less. Not only will this alleviate back and neck pain, but it can relieve pressure in the lower abdomen as well.
Once you’ve found the loft and firmness that best suit your preferred sleeping position, you’re ready to focus on the material details.
Pillows come in a wide variety of materials, from memory foam and latex to feathers and wool. But in the world of hotel pillows, down and down alternatives are the most popular! So, let’s examine each one in order to point you in the direction:
- Down – Down pillows are widely considered to be the most luxurious because of their exceptionally fluffy, cloud-like feel. They’re filled with goose or duck down, or a combination of both. Luxury hotels frequently use real down pillows because of their feathery feel and high quality, but it’s important to note that shopping for down pillows can be pretty pricey. That’s why many sleepers turn to a down alternative!
- Down Alternative – Down alternative pillows are filled with synthetic materials that are engineered to mimic the feel of real feathers. They’re often ideal for sleepers on a budget or those with allergies, as down alternative pillows are hypoallergenic and tend to be considerably less expensive than real down. Plus, they’re much easier to wash as compared to real down.
As you can see, both options bring their own set of perks and pitfalls to the table. So take some time to consider your sleep priorities and determine which might be the best fit for you. Once you’ve settled on the internal fill, you can focus on cover fabric.
In general, hotel pillows are covered in cotton because of its soft feel and great breathability. That said, you might find cover fabrics made from polyester or bamboo, both of which are naturally moisture-wicking materials. So when you’re shopping, be sure to pay attention to all the details in order to pick the cover fabric and internal fill that’s best for you.
Hotel pillows are typically offered in Standard or King sizes, the dimensions for which are listed by each bedding brand. Oftentimes, a Standard size equates to a Queen size, but be sure to note the specific measurements in order to get the best sense of its length, width, and depth.
Additionally, don’t feel compelled to get the pillow size that matches your mattress size. Just because you sleep on a Queen size mattress doesn’t mean you can’t opt for the luxurious King pillow! After all, hotel pillows are all about comfortable sleep luxury.
Finally, make sure that the size you choose corresponds with the pillowcase you have (or intend to purchase). If you opt for the King size pillow, make sure you have a King pillowcase to match. For the best hotel aesthetic, your pillowcase should fit snugly, and not gap in the corners.
As I mentioned earlier, there are two main types of hotel pillows, and one is much easier to wash. In general, down alternative pillows can be washed and dried by machine, while real down pillows have to be spot cleaned or sent to the dry cleaners. So, when you’re shopping, take some time to consider how important easy wash care is to you.
If you don’t think you’ll have the time and/or money to dry clean your pillow every time it gets dirty, you might be best suited to a down alternative pillow that can be washed and dried right at home. If, however, you’re more concerned with feel and support and have your heart set on real down, don’t let wash care deter you! In fact, I’ll list spot-cleaning instructions below for those who want to avoid dry cleaning:
- To spot clean your down pillow, use a damp cloth and mild detergent.
- Be careful not to get your down pillow too wet. Use a small amount of detergent and spot clean one area at a time.
- Wipe your pillow down with a fresh damp cloth.
- Allow your pillow to air dry completely before dressing it with a pillowcase.
Spot cleaning isn’t quite as easy as tossing your pillow into the washing machine, but it can be just as effective. Just be sure to follow the exact care instructions as given by the manufacturer itself in order to properly wash and dry your pillow.
Hotel pillows can cost anywhere from $20 to $200 depending on the materials used. Down alternative pillows tend to be the most cost effective, but they can also be less durable as compared to real down. Meanwhile, down pillows are often quite expensive, but can last a very long time. So, take some time to consider your personal budget along with your sleep needs before you start shopping.
Additionally, be sure to make note of each brand’s return policy, as each one is different. For example, some brands offer full refunds on products that have been personally tested, while others will only issue a refund for unused products in their original packaging. So remember to check the exact terms of each retailer’s return policy before you make your purchase.
Sleepopolis Buying Tips
Well, folks, we’re nearing the end of my guide and you’re one step closer to picking the perfect hotel pillow. But before you start shopping, let’s recap some helpful tips:
- OEKO-Tex Certification – Sleepers with sensitive skin should look for the OEKO-Tex certification, as this seal guarantees that no harsh dyes, insecticides, or chemicals were used in the manufacturing process.
- Gel Infusion – Down alternative hotel pillows are often infused with a gel that can serve to regulate body temperature. If you’re a hot sleeper, you might want to keep an eye out for gel infusions!
- Trial Period – Be sure to take advantage of a brand’s trial period whenever it’s offered, as personally testing a pillow can be a great way to decide if it’s really worth the money.
Now that you’re all experts on hotel pillows and you’ve seen my personal favorites, you’re ready to find the one that’s best for your sleep needs. Just be sure to keep a close eye on loft, firmness, and all the material details that appeal to your unique needs. Happy shopping!